Thursday news, notes and all questions answered Doug Gray February 14, 2013 40 Comments Not that it should be surprising, but Mark Sheldon says that Tony Cingrani will be used as a starter in spring training. I like what Dusty had to say about it though, as it is something that has been repeated when it comes to Cingrani’s future. The one thing that does stick out about this though, is that Cingrani won’t be looked at in any way as a potential lefty out of the bullpen for the time being, which was something I had seen others speculate about. He can always relieve,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But he’s got to work on his breaking ball to make him a complete pitcher. Andrew Pentis has an interview up with Ryan LaMarre on MLBlogs. It is pretty in depth, so be sure to go give the whole thing a read. Here was the thing that stood out most to me from the interview: On his development as a hitter: “I want to be more consistent and dynamic offensively. I have gotten [overly] mechanical and obsessed with how my swing is working, and I just have to trust that and know that what I am doing is right. When I do that, I think my power numbers will go up [and] my average will go up because I’ll be in better counts and not missing as many pitches and won’t be striking out as much. I think it revolves around getting a more consistent offensive approach.” LaMarre is strong enough to hit for power, but his swing just hasn’t worked to produce power to this point in his career. Adding a little bit of power to his offense would turn him into a very interesting prospect given his speed, defense and on-base history. All Questions Answered I will be in and out all day, so answers may mostly come later in the afternoon. Here are the rules, which are the same as usual. Ask before midnight. Each user gets 3 questions. Avoid questions that will require me to look up the answers. Avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer. That is it. Simple enough, right? 40 Responses Jeff February 14, 2013 1. How much would you be willing to give Latos and Bailey long term? 2. Besides Votto, who is the one player that cannot get hurt for the Reds to duplicate last year? 3. How much of a leash do you give Chapman before moving him back to the bullpen? Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. I would look to offer both five years. Latos for more money of course. I would need to look more into arbitration cases to find an exact number for either guy. 2. Cozart. There simply isn’t another everyday shortstop. 3. I start him in the bullpen and move him into the rotation in mid June. Finish him at 155 innings. Absolutely no more than that. Dick February 14, 2013 Is the Latos deal a win for the Reds? With Latos in the fold through 2015, would you trade Bailey? jim t February 14, 2013 Dick, not Doug but absolutely no way I trade Bailey and I will go out on a limb and say he has a better year than Latos this season. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 I will still take Latos. But I think both improve on 2012. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. It is in the sense that they know what he will cost the next two years. In terms of money, it looks about right. 2. No way I trade Bailey. He was arguably one of the fifteen best pitchers in the national league last year. jim t February 14, 2013 Doug, 1. reds opening day line up? 2.who makes up the reds opening day bull pen? 3. Where does Stephenson end his season? MK February 14, 2013 jimt I agree with your response on the trading of Bailey. But keeping Bailey in mind I would hope Stephenson ends no higher than Bakersfield. I think the Reds rushed Bailey, maybe as a necessity of selling tickets or poorer talent at big league level, and that really set him back a little. I think they can afford to take a more conservative approach this time. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. Choo, Phillips, Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, Frazier, Cozart, Hanigan. 2. Chapman, Broxton, Marshall, LeCure and then spring training decides the rest. 3. Bakersfield. WallyP February 14, 2013 Doug I love the commitment to Cingrani’s development . He is a guy that throws off of his fastball and that will never change but I love the idea of keeping him in the rotation and forcing him to develop his secondary stuff. They will tell him in games during the spring and during the season to not worry about stats,throw the secondary pitches Alan Horn February 14, 2013 I agree Wally. It has been a while since the Reds had a quality LH starter. Now they could have two in the near future with Chapman and Cingrani. Cbus February 14, 2013 1. Cingrani reminds me of Travis Wood, is he a better prospect than that? 2. I expect some regression from Frazier this year, you agree? How bad will it be? 3. What’s the weakest position in the Reds’ Minors right now? I’d guess corner outfielders, there’s some talent there with Lutz, Yorman, Winker but they are far from sure things. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. Yes, Cingrani is considered a better prospect right now than Wood ever was. 2. Yes, I too expect some regression. I think a .320 obp and a .450 slg is a mark to aim for. 3. Shortstop. Followed by catcher. sultan of swaff February 14, 2013 Great read on LaMarre. You have to appreciate that he was willing to sacrifice parts of his game (and his health) for the good of the team. He should have fewer limitations this year, so hopefully we’ll see the best he has to offer. In an ideal world, he could replace Heisey when arbitration raises make Heisey too expensive to keep. LaMarre potentially has more tools, so it might even be an upgrade. I used to be pessimistic, but now I’m cautiously optimistic. jimmy February 14, 2013 Nice interview with Lamarre The Duke February 14, 2013 1) Who has a better year in AAA: Cingrani or Corcino? 2) Do you think there is a chance they stack the Dayton club to start the year and not skip Langfield, SMB, Moscot, or Gelalch to Bakersfield? That team could have a lot of talent on it (Stephenson, Guillon, Langfield, Moscot, Cisco, Winker, Gelalich, SMB, Amaral, Vincej, Hudson, etc…), and while player development is key, winning does help imo. 3) What level do you think they start Stephen Hunt the pitcher at? Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. Give me Corcino. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see out be Cingrani. 2. I think Dayton should be stacked either way. I expect one of Moscot our Langfield to be in Bakersfield. 3. Hunt is looking at making the Dayton club. Jimmer February 14, 2013 What do you think about having Chapman/Leake split the 5th starter role. Cap Chapman’s innings at 5 per start and then have Leake come in to either finish or pitch 3-4 innings every 5th day. Chapman could make 30 starts at 5 innings per start which gives him 150. Also allows Leake to stay on a rotation schedule in case someone else goes down. I don’t think they want to pay Leake 3.06 million to be be a long man, but something has to give. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 It depends on how you do it. Every other start going to one guy, I don’t like. Leake until say June 15th, then Chapman through the , I like. Your plan will not work. It limits your bullpen and doesn’t put Chapman in the playoff reputation if he is one of the four best guys. Scott from upstate NY February 14, 2013 Which three Reds minor leaguers (pitcher or positional) would you identify as most likely to be possible “trade bait” in the future due to stacked depth at the position? Doug Gray February 14, 2013 I think any of the pitchers not named Corcino, Cingrani, Stephenson or Travieso (partly because he isn’t eligible yet, but also because I think they wouldn’t give him up just yet) could be up to be moved. Neftali Soto if he starts hitting because he has nowhere to go. I am not sure the Reds are deep enough anywhere else that someone really jumps out as trade bait. zblakey February 14, 2013 1) Play Mez full time at Louisville or 2 days a week in Cincy? 2) Under, what, if any conditions would you bring Arroyo back next year? 3) Whats the emergency plan if Cozart gets hurt, and can’t play for an extended period of time? Doug, Thank you for all you do! Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. Play Mesoraco 3-4 times per week in Cincinnati. 2. Multiple starters go down with season ending injuries toward the end of 2013 that will cause them to miss significant time in 2014. 3. A trade or if it is too late for that, I guess just one of Donald/Izturis. lollipopcurve February 14, 2013 Didn’t answer zblakey’s question, Doug — Play Mez every day in LOuisville or twice a week in the bigs? No other choices, because that’s the reality he faces on this team. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 I don’t think it is written in stone that it is the reality he faces, but keep him in Cincinnati. zblakey February 15, 2013 its pretty certain that unless Hanigan slumps, he will start the majority of the games. Unless he can’t get above the .200 mark, or Mez is hitting .300 with a bunch of homers, I can’t see Dusty adjusting the lineup. Anyone else? Jimmer February 16, 2013 Agreed. Would take a Hanigan injury + Mes playing well during that absence for him to get the job. texasdave February 14, 2013 Each team was given about 2.9 million for international signings. Let’s assume that the Reds evaluated Jacob Constante properly and 730,000 is about what he should have received. And let’s assume that they would also evaluate a player worth 2.9 million properly. My question is as follows, which is the better strategy: sign one 2.9 million-dollar player or 4 730,000-dollar players? Doug Gray February 14, 2013 Four guys at $730,000. The odds are just in your favor. coltholt February 15, 2013 What if, up to 2.9 Million, guys are paid about the same that they were before the new CBA, but guys like Michael Ynoa and Miguel Sano who were signing at well beyond $2.9 million are now willing to sign at the cut off for the team’s full $2.9 million. So, if you could get four Jacob Constante at 725k, or 1 prospect the caliber of Ynoa or Sano for $2.9, which do you take? (Based on the information that was available at the time for Ynoa and Sano). Terry M February 14, 2013 Cairo back with the Reds..Working in the front office…Just saw on twitter.. Jim Delaney February 14, 2013 Doug- like the updated site and information you are providing great stuff out of early spring training. Questions: Which current 40 man roster players are most vulnerable to be removed if a non-roster minor league free agent (Izturis, Hensley, Burriss, Olivo, etc) make the team out of spring or are called up during season? I know Masset could be a 60 day DL guy since it appears he isn’t close to being ready but beyond him anyone else might a tough decision. If Donald loses middle infield backup job in ST, do you think the REDS try and trade him or do they try and send him to minors and hope he clears waivers? I have been fascinated watching the free agents offered compensation and how they were impacted by draft pick compensation. Do you think any non contender teams may look at how this went this year and make trades around trade deadline to guarantee a bottom ten record to enable them a potential advantage to sign free agents offered compensation offer next year? The Cubs and possibly the Mets are two teams I could see looking this route. Next year’s crop of FA’s have some interesting players that teams will have potentially tough decisions on. Long term this could be a way Houston and Miami add pieces to there teams which will allow them to make a big jump from bottom ten to potential contender. I like the new system even more as it has played out! Thanks Jim! Doug Gray February 14, 2013 1. Jason Donald seems like the easiest bet. Maybe a Villarreal or Ondrusek if they need more than 1. 2. Try to sneak him through waivers. I imagine he has a solid chance to get through if he doesn’t make the team out of ST. 3. It could happen, but the circumstances need to be exactly right in order to make that happen. BobcatRedsFan February 14, 2013 I’ve quietly wondered for two years if LaMarre, with his power potential, isn’t a better lead-off candidate in two years than Billy Hamilton. He doesn’t have Billy’s gaudy stolen base numbers (who does?) but his stolen bases in 2011 were more than respectable, and even though he struggled to hit last year he was still had the best strikezone discipline in Pensacola last year. I’ve wondered if we pulled the plug on Hamilton at SS too soon since they had him there in the AFL. If he legitimately can’t play the position, then moving him to the OF sooner rather than later made sense. But his bat undoubtedly plays better at Short then it does in Center. I just don’t think there is enough power in Billy’s bat for any OF position. Now that Gregrorius is a Diamondback, I’d ask who would you rather have Billy Hamilton replace, Ryan LaMarre (who hasn’t shown anything at the Big League level yet) or Zack Cozart? Cozart is a good defender at Short, and he has very good pop in his bat for a middle infielder. But his contact is so poor, that even with Stubbs gone I worry that the team can’t really afford Cozart’s Strikeouts. If Hamilton was never going to stick at Short, then it was a good move. If it was just the quickest way to get him to Cincinnati then I worry moving him to Center will seem a hasty decision down the road. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 I think Hamilton would have needed more than a year to work out his defensive issues at shortstop. I think he can get to the Majors in less than a year in center. So that could have been a reason to make the move. I don’t believe that Hamilton could play shortstop any time soon in the Majors. He is just too inconsistent. He wouldn’t have gotten a call this year if Cozart went down. The Reds want a sure handed infielder. Hamilton isn’t that. texasdave February 14, 2013 I have heard rumblings about teams being allowed to trade their draft picks. Is that on the horizon? Stock February 14, 2013 The Reds get an extra draft pick for being a small market team. They can trade ths pick. Doug Gray February 14, 2013 Yeah, I think that for now, these are the only kinds of picks that can be moved or will be open to being moved. I do think that with a draft pool being limited now, that in the next CBA things could be changed to allow picks to be traded as I think it could be something teams would be interested in. peppe February 16, 2013 What is your 25 man roster Rick in Boise February 17, 2013 FWIW, Bailey & Reds agreed to a 1-year $5.3 million contract, avoiding arbitration. BP mavens were unanimous that Homer would win his case easily so this number makes sense. LTC next?